Category Archives: Author Promotion

My books are now available at the Alameda County Library!

So, my books have finally made it into the Alameda County Library system. I have to admit it was a pretty cool surprise to be browsing the new arrivals at my local branch and see my own book on the shelf!

Library Book

What was even neater, though, was checking the course catalog and finding that one of my books has been checked out already!

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Not bad for a random weekday, eh? :)

 

Goodreads Giveaways!

From now through April 30th, I am hosting Goodreads giveaways for four of my books, On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness, Just the Three of Us: An Erotic Romantic Comedy for the Commitment-ChallengedMy Life with Michael: A Novel of Sex, Beer, and Middle Age, and To All the Penises I’ve Ever Known: Erotic Shorts by Lori Schafer. You can enter to win autographed paperback copies via the widgets below:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

On Hearing of My Mother's Death Six Years After It Happened by Lori Schafer

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Just the Three of Us by Lori Schafer

Just the Three of Us

by Lori Schafer

Giveaway ends April 30, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

To All the Penises I've Ever Known by Lori Schafer

To All the Penises I’ve Ever Known

by Lori Schafer

Giveaway ends April 30, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Life with Michael by Lori Schafer

My Life with Michael

by Lori Schafer

Giveaway ends April 30, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 Good luck – hope you win!

Castro Valley Book Fair: Meet Your Local Authors on Saturday, May 21st!

The second Castro Valley Book Fair will be held this Saturday, May 21st, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Castro Valley Library located at 3600 Norbridge Ave. in Castro Valley, California. More than 30 local authors will be in attendance. Bay Area residents, come on down and meet your fellow literature lovers!

In addition to signing books, a number of authors (me included) will also be participating in one of the following three panel discussions in the Learning Center:

1 pm to 1:45 pm: A Many-Splendored Thing: Romance Writing in All Its Variety

2 pm to 2:45 pm: The Independent Path: Lessons in Self-Publishing from Local Authors

3 pm to 3:45 pm: Creating Your Self-Help Book with Passion and Purpose

I will be speaking in the first panel, Romance Writing in All Its Variety. I look forward to seeing you there!

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Is it Autobiographical? A Guest Post by Anne Goodwin on the Reality and Fiction of Her Debut Novel Sugar and Snails

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Those of you saw my review of Anne Goodwin‘s debut novel Sugar and Snails will be delighted to read the following guest post from Anne on how much of her real self is contained within her novel. I find it a fascinating subject myself, as I know my own novels are strange conglomerations of true, hypothetically true, and utterly fanciful, with the reader (hopefully) never being certain which is which. I’ve been toying with this a lot in my third novel, The Other Three of Us, the first part of which comes out next week, and I’ll admit it can be a bit frightening. My story is actually told from the point of view of the author, which essentially invites the reader to assume that it’s autobiographical even when it’s not. Anne, too, has taken a brave step here in writing about a character whom many readers will assume represents Anne herself. This is the risk we take with fiction, and Sugar and Snails has done it amazingly well.

Is it autobiographical?

Apparently, most first novels are thought to be autobiographical, so I’m anticipating some fun when my readers start wondering how much of my character Diana’s life overlaps with mine. Fun because there’s an interesting secret at the heart of her identity that might make friends and acquaintances look at me in a different light.

When my husband read a proof copy a couple of months before publication, having lived with the story for the past seven years but, until then, never having read a word, he also wondered whether people would think it autobiographical. I asked whether he’d mind. After giving it some thought, he told me he wouldn’t because people would think he was Simon (Diana’s not-quite-partner) and Simon’s a decent guy.

It’s the fact that Diana’s story isn’t mine that gives me the freedom to tell it. I’ve no desire to open up the events of my own life to public scrutiny; nor do I have the capacity to write an autobiography or memoir in an engaging way. But, in writing about a character on a very different trajectory to my own, I’ve drawn deeply on my own experience. Diana isn’t me, but I’ve written her as if she could be. She’s an alternative version of me.

The best response I’ve come across to that awkward question, Is it autobiographical? (although, unfortunately, I can’t remember from where I’ve stolen it) is No, but it is personal. I’m very attached to this fictional alter ego of mine, very protective of her. Although I’m aware that, because of her anxiety about her secret, she can be irritating, I’ve found myself getting defensive when anyone criticises how she behaves. Well-intentioned (and useful) feedback from peer reviewers, especially in the early stages when I was just getting to know her, could be challenging. Why couldn’t they accept her as she was?

Most writers are personally involved in their characters at some level, but perhaps this felt particularly difficult for Diana (and me) because her journey towards self-acceptance is largely what the novel’s about. She fears that her friends (including decent-guy, Simon) will desert her if they discover who she really is. Of course, as her creator, I’m going to be sensitive to any hints of rejection.

While I don’t share the exact details of her biography, I do identify with her emotional experience, and it’s this that particularly interests me as a writer. I too have felt inadequate, ashamed of being me. I too have wished I could scrub out my old life and start again. I too have felt a yawning gap between how I see myself and how I feel I ought to be. Perhaps you’ve experienced this too?

Reflecting on this emotional connection, I wonder what people mean when they ask if a novel is autobiographical. Are they looking for a merging of author and character in terms of life events or life themes? The more I think about it, the less I comprehend what the question means. Perhaps, should anyone ask, I’ll pass the question back to them the way that therapists are prone to do, What do you think?

Reading through my novel for the final time before publication, checking for any errors that had escaped the notice of editors and proof-reader, I was surprised to come across the odd scene I’d borrowed from my own life. Not the big events, but small things, slightly tweaked to fit the story. Why should I be surprised when it was me who had put them there? As crazy as this might sound, it feels as if, having given those minor incidents to Diana, they no longer belonged to me. Hoping readers would discover connections between Diana’s life and their own, I didn’t expect that I’d discover them too.

Ever since I’ve been writing fiction seriously, I’ve been aware of the fuzzy boundary between fiction and real life. The moment someone asks me if Sugar and Snails is autobiographical, it’s going to get a lot fuzzier still.

 

Anne Goodwin writes fiction, short and long, and blogs about reading and writing, with a peppering of psychology. Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, was published last month by Inspired Quill. Catch up on her website: annethology or on Twitter @Annecdotist.

Want to read more of Anne’s guest posts regarding her novel? Visit other stops on her month-long blog tour:

blog tour week 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar and Snails

Last week I finished reading Anne Goodwin‘s debut novel Sugar and Snails. While I have been a fan of Goodwin’s writing for some time, it’s difficult to anticipate whether someone who writes wonderful short stories will also have the skills required to assemble a novel. Goodwin most definitely does. I highly recommend that you give her novel a try – you will not be disappointed.

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Below is the five-star review I am posting on Amazon and Goodreads:

A coming-of-age story unlike many others

I picked up Sugar and Snails without having any idea what it was about (details below under the Spoiler Alert), and I have to say that I was delightfully surprised by both the storyline and the style of writing. I loved the way the author slowly unravels the story behind the youthful Diana’s mysterious life-changing decision, picking away it, probing her memory and subconscious for details, just like the psychologist her main character portrays. It’s a classic example of form fitting function, and it drew me deeply into the story even as I was drawn more and more deeply into the depths of Diana’s mind.

The writing is smooth and expertly done, with characters who are imperfect and three-dimensionally drawn. I was reminded of the novels of Graham Greene in both the manner in which the story unfolds and the realistic characterizations of the people involved. Ostensibly this is a book about Diana’s decision, a decision that she made when she had neither the knowledge nor experience to make it, a decision that has dogged her every year of her life since she was fifteen. It takes her thirty years to comes to terms with that decision, but ultimately, you’re proud of her for how she handles it, and proud of her, too, for how she decides to move forward.

SPOILER ALERT!

In a day in which Caitlyn Jenner is gracing the front cover of Vanity Fair, transgender issues are at the forefront of the collective consciousness. We are entering an era of great social change, an era in which we are coming to acknowledge that trans people, like homosexuals, have little choice but to be who they are. What is so powerfully moving about Diana’s story is that it harkens back to an epoch before there was any tolerance at all for gender that was not one hundred percent “man” or one hundred percent “woman”; she demonstrates with painful yet not pitiful eloquence how difficult it can be merely to exist in a world in which one must identify oneself solely with one or the other, and ultimately, how we all suffer from trying to adhere to this strict dichotomy of gender. Hers is a coming-of-age story unlike many others, yet it cries out to be told, to join the stories of other youths who have suffered crises of sexual or gender identity in a world that has often been hostile to them. Yet, it, too, offers hope, for if, in the modern era, a forty-five-year-old woman can at last find peace, if a sixty-five-year-old woman can find peace, then perhaps the young people who follow in their footsteps will never have to know the suffering that the older generation endured; peace may be theirs without their having to find it.

The 7th Annual Northwest Book Festival in Portland

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Greetings from Medford, Oregon, where it’s been so hot that if I abandon my cold coffee mid-morning and leave it in the truck all day, it’s warm enough to drink again by mid-afternoon! As you might have guessed from the above banner, I’m on my way up to the 7th Annual Northwest Book Festival in Portland, and boy, am I enjoying the excuse for a road trip. I don’t think I ever sleep better than I do in the back of my truck – I think it’s like my natural habitat or something.

Anyway, if you’re in the Portland area, come on down to Pioneer Courthouse Square this Saturday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. and say hello. I’ll be at Table 24 signing books all day – I look forward to seeing you there!

Self-Published Books Worth Reading – Here’s One of Them

A while back I nominated Geoff Le Pard’s fabulous coming-of-age comedy Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle for ReadFreely‘s “50 Self-Published Books Worth Reading” contest. I’m happy to report that the book has made the first cut, and as voting is now open, I would encourage you to check out the list and cast your vote:

http://www.readfree.ly/vote-for-the-50-self-published-books-worth-reading-2015-comedy/

And if you haven’t read it yet, do. Trust me, it is more than “worth reading.” :)

Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle